At the beginning of the year we mentioned that Google and some of the other big names on the internet were teaming up for an IPv6 test run. Now, it’s here. We have roughly 4 hours until IPv6 day starts; which could be either June 7 or June 8 depending on where you live in the world. For most people, you probably won’t even notice that this is happening. But, for all the network techs and geeks out there this is a pretty big deal.
The Internet Society is the head behind the whole operation, but Google has really been taking the lead. According to a press release from Google, many of their “employees have been operating in ‘World IPv6 Day mode’ for several months now.” Along with them Facebook, Akamai, Yahoo!, and Limelight networks were also the first to jump onboard. But the list doesn’t end there, over 435 different organizations are participating with a hybrid dual IPv6/IPv4 deployment for this special event.
As mentioned, home users likely won’t even notice this is happening. Either your networking equipment and computer will automatically connect to IPv6, or you’ll just continue connecting via IPv4 as usual. Not sure what to expect? Check out the IPv6 connectivity test tool to see if your network is configured correctly. Assuming your ISP (internet service provider) has setup your DNS to correctly take advantage of IPv6, you should be able to connect to all of the participating websites without any trouble. But, if that doesn’t work you can try to use a free IPv6 tunnel, such Tunnel Broker.
Why the big test day?
IPv4 has been around for more than 30 years, and we’re several months past due for an upgrade. Despite having over 4 billion possible addresses, he last of the IPv4 addresses were depleted for several regional internet registry organizations back in April of this year. IPv6 day is the first full-scale, worldwide deployment of the new internet protocol ever. Call it a stress test, or just call it a practice round; it is playing a big part in promoting IPv6 across the world. Assuming that everything goes off without a hitch, it won’t belong before home users are upgraded to IPv6 as well.